Our friends of many years Nate and Nancy Burger are a handicapped couple but have been to Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Austria Belgium, Botswana, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia Denmark, Ecuador, England, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece,Greek Islands, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea (South), Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, Ukraine, Wales and Zimbabwe.
Nate recently sent this note: Hi, Gary. I have attached an article appropriate for the physically challenged in Ecuador. Best to you and Merri- Nate
Nate & Nancy in India
Living and Moving to South America
by Nate Burger
“For us, a physically challenged couple who speak essentially no Spanish,
the idea seemed foolish to our children and many of our friends.”
When I suggested the possibility of living in Ecuador, my wife’s eyes
flickered with just a hint of doubt. True, we had traveled in dozens of
countries and I had never gotten us into trouble before. But then, we
had never done anything quite like what I was suggesting now.
Truth is, most North Americans have no idea of what Ecuador is all about
and what an absolute jewel it is for anyone who can learn to overcome
the obstacles it presents.
For us, a physically challenged couple who speak essentially no Spanish,
the idea seemed foolish to our children and many of our friends.
Everyone asked, simply, “Why Ecuador?” – that is, until we began to
explain our reasons for considering such a move.
First, we love to travel and experience foreign cultures. Nothing
pleases us more than sitting outside at a sidewalk cafe, watching
people, listening to strange accents, tasting exotic foods. But over
time, we have grown to dread long “horizontal” trans-Atlantic and
trans-Pacific flights; the jet lag simply drains us for days. We found
ourselves avoiding planning such trips.
Ecuador is a “vertical” trip. From our home outside Washington, D.C.,
there is only one hour time difference, and we can make the journey in
less than one day: We leave Dulles International at 6:30 in the morning,
and are in our condo in a suburb of Quito by 3PM that afternoon.
The second important factor involves money. The standard of life is
quite high and the cost of living is quite low. Nancy’s beautician in
the States charges $65.00 to cut her hair, wash and set it. In our town
of Cumbaya, Ecuador, this same service costs $13.00 ($6.00 for just a
wash and set).
In Silver Spring, Maryland, nursing care costs me $125.00 per day; in
Cumbaya, it is less than $20.00. A custom splint made by an orthopedist
in Quito for Nancy’s hand cost me $23.00 (plus $3.00 for an extra set of
Velcro straps), while a less well-made splint in the US cost me nearly
Housing cost is a third factor. Real estate is much less expensive than
in the US. Our condominium in Cumbaya is half again larger than our
condominium outside Washington, and it was one third the cost. Besides
that, our home in Washington has lost 26% of its purchase price, while
our condominium in Cumbaya has increased in value by nearly 50%.
Where to live for someone physically challenged certainly poses some
problems, but we found a great solution: Before we chose what would
become our home, we carefully designed a comprehensive “We Need List”.
We needed to live in a building with no stairs inside or out. We needed
a location near larger hospitals. We needed to be near an airport where
we could get back to the States quickly in a medical emergency- all
those types of things which would not ordinarily be of great concern to
someone not physically impaired. It made finding a home so much easier.
Handicapped access is unquestionable less than it is in the States, but
nothing that would be so limiting as to keep us from living here. We
have evolved the attitude that there is a solution for every challenge-
we just need to figure out what it is. With that frame of mind, you can
travel all over the country and experience such a variety of activity
withing relatively short distances. Within a few hours drive, we have
bird sanctuaries, native markets for fruits, vegetables, and
handicrafts. The area abounds with excellent shopping, spas, thermal
baths, and astounding physical beauty. All this combines to make for a
wonderful, relaxed life-style.
Traveling and living in Ecuador for the physically challenged is
certainly possible and very much worth the effort.
Nancy and Nate’s website, www.disabledtravelersguide.com is an
information-only site dedicated to International travel by the
physically challenged and built on the premise that, “If we can do it,
you can do it.”
The Bergers share their experiences and photographs culled from more
than 20 years of traveling all over the world, from polar bears to
penguins, and from the jungles of Africa, to the sophisticated cities of
the Far East and Southeast Asia. They invite you to their site to see
what is possible when you have the determination and attitude to get the
most out of life!
Join us in Ecuador
Join us at our upcoming courses and tours.
Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour
December 6-8 Blaine Watson’s Beyond Logic & Shamanic Tour
December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Join us in 2010. Attend more than one seminar and tour and save even more plus get the three emailed courses free.
Feb. 11-14 Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999
Feb. 15-16 Travel to Quito and Andes
Feb 17-18 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20-21 Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24 Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27 Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Mar. 11-14 Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Florida ($749) Couple $999
Mar. 15-16 Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20 Cotacachi Shamanic Tour
Mar. 22-23 Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour
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